Monday, January 23, 2012

Over 25 years of local Advocacy: The Tacoma Ministerial Alliance

Rev. Dr. Charles Horne

The Tacoma Ministerial Alliance was established during the mid 80’s by a coalition of pastors, lay ministers and community leaders as a not for profit, faith based organization.  The organization works collaboratively with many other community and faith-based organizations by advocating for issues; such as: freedom of worship expression, social and economic equality through academics, and raising the social conscious of underrepresented populations in our community. TMA also provides more than 20 scholarships annually, to aid students in their quest for academic excellence.

Tacoma Ministerial Alliance (TMA) has been a central voice in the community since its inception. This ecumenical group of churches pools resources to help members connect with community organizations by providing workshops and advocacy opportunities with and for the African American Community. This strategic alliance also provides a vehicle for sharing pertinent information and resources directly related to: Employment, Education, Law and Justice, Economic Development and Empowerment. The organization has been on the front line in the battle against institutional  discrimination and disparate treatment in the work place, housing and banking.  More recently,     TMA functioned as catalyst on behalf of one of their most collaborative endeavors that began in 2010, the “Thousand Man March” on the Hilltop of Tacoma to bring attention to on-going specific social injustices.

TMA also advocates by helping connect constituents with their representatives in Olympia. The Tacoma branch of the Washington Christian Leadership Coalition, of which TMA is a member, headed by Dr. Freeman Rhodes, Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church on Tacoma’s east side, participated in its fourth annual legislative day on Tuesday, March 2, 2011. The South Sound delegation of the WCLC totaled more than 250 attendees throughout the day, with several members of TMA in attendance.

The TMA is an essential partnership to access the alliances of 20+ evangelical churches within its membership and a valuable partner to many organizations that are meeting the needs of the African American community, such as A. Philip Randolf and the Pierce County Black Collective.

This legacy of the TMA was born out of the will, compassion and perseverance of servant leaders, such as:  Dr. J.A. Boles-Pastor Emeritus, St. John Baptist Church; Dr. E.S. Stonewall Brazill-Pastor Emeritus, Shiloh Baptist Church; Bishop T.L. Westbrook-New Jerusalem, Church of God In Christ; Bishop C.E. Montgomery-Pastor Emeritus, Greater Christ Temple (Apostolic); Bishop R.E. Altimer, Altimer Memorial (COGIC) ; Supt. Leo C. Brown, Rev Paul Pruitt-Tacoma memorial Church; Pastor Emeritus Holle Plaehn, Peace Lutheran Church; Pastor Emeritus J.R. Williams, Allen AME; Rev. W.L. Smith Presiding Elder, CME, 9th District and a long list of others who help pave the way.

For more information about how you can be more involved in the Alliance,please visit our website or call TMA 253-255-2721.